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How to Propagate Ivy Geraniums

geranium image by Konstantin Kaschenko from

Geraniums may very well be the most forgiving of all plants when it comes to asexual propagation. The lovely vining ivy geranium, or Pelargonium peltatum, is no exception. These plants root so readily from cuttings that even the newest novice with the brownest of thumbs can succeed. The best time to do this is in late fall, just before the last predicted frost for your area.

Choose a mature, healthy ivy geranium for propagation just before the first predicted frost for your area. Cuttings will grow into exact clones of the parent plant, so pick an attractive plant that you like.

Cut 4- to 5-inch-long actively growing tips from the ivy geranium’s stems using a clean, sharp knife. Make your cut just above a healthy set of leaves.

Break or cut all blooms, buds and foliage from the stem, except for the top two or three leaves. Excess plant materials often carry unnoticed insect pests. Set the cutting on the counter out of direct sun for two or three hours to rest and begin to form a callus on the cut end.

Cut a few drainage holes in the bottom of a re-purposed plastic yogurt cup or margarine container. Fill it to within 1/2 inch of the top with potting soil. Place it in a shallow container of warm water until the surface of the soil feels very moist, but not soggy or wet. Remove it from the water and allow it to drain freely for about two hours.

Moisten the lower 1/2 inch of the ivy geranium cutting and dip it in rooting hormone, if you wish. Plant it 1/2 to 1 inch deep in the pot of soil. Set the cutting in a brightly lit location out of direct sun until it roots in about two to three weeks. Keep the soil surface evenly moist.

Check the cutting every day to make sure the soil never dries out. After two weeks tug on it carefully. If it resists your pull, roots have formed. If not, try again in another week.

Move the rooted ivy geranium cutting to a sunny windowsill as soon as roots have developed. Keep it evenly moist. Transplant outdoors in the spring after all danger of frost has passed.

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